by WorldTribune Staff, May 24, 2018
U.S. President Donald Trump on May 24, in a letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, said he was canceling the summit between the two which had been scheduled for June 12 in Singapore.
“Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting,” Trump wrote in the letter to Kim.
“You talk about your nuclear capabilities, but ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used,” Trump wrote.
Trump ended the letter by saying “This missed opportunity is a truly sad moment in history.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who had met personally in April with Kim Jong-Un in Pyongyang, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on May 23 that there was no chance of “a successful outcome,” in some part because Kim’s team was AWOL when it counted.
“Over the past many days we have endeavored to do what Chairman Kim and I had agreed, [which] was to put teams, preparation teams together, to begin to work to prepare for the summit,” Pompeo said. “And we had received no response to our inquiries from them.”
Pompeo told the committee: “I think we’re prepared for this meeting. I think President Trump is prepared for this meeting. We were fully, fully engaged over the past weeks to prepare for this meeting. I hope we quickly are able to get back to that place. But ultimately Chairman Kim will have that decision to make for himself. As the president said, we welcome their call, their outreach, to head back down that path.”
In the absence of progress, Pompeo said, “in some ways it’s ‘situation normal.’ The pressure campaign continues.”
Trump’s cancellation earned praise from Republican lawmakers. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida tweeted: “Kim Jun Un, in the words of a wise man ‘Congratulations, you just played yourself’. Withdrawing from talks with #NKorea is 100% the right decision. #KJU doesn’t want a deal. He has deliberately sabotaged the talks over the last two weeks & was setting us up to take the blame.”
South Korea’s government was reportedly taken by surprise by Trump’s announcement.
A representative of President Moon Jae-In’s office said the South Korean administration was “trying to figure out what President Trump’s intention is and the exact meaning of it,” according to Yonhap, which added that Moon and his aides convened emergency meetings to address the announcement.
Joseph Bosco, who served as China country director for the U.S. Secretary of Defense from 2005 to 2006, said in an op-ed for The Hill that Trump “has now wisely canceled the summit.”
Bosco wrote that “the Trump administration can use some breathing room to devise a coherent negotiating strategy for a conversation with potentially momentous consequences. Perhaps even more significantly, the last-minute intervention of Xi — who apparently summoned Kim to Beijing for their second meeting in less than a month after three years of mutual isolation — exposes China’s long-term deceit and hypocrisy on the North Korea nuclear crisis.”
Bosco continued: “Apparently displeased with the Trump-Kim momentum toward a peaceful resolution, Xi persuaded his dependent ally – over whom Beijing has always said it has little or no influence – to pull back a bit while they regroup on strategy. Pyongyang blamed the disruption on the U.S.-South Korea joint exercises, but no one takes that excuse seriously. President Trump has speculated that China is influencing Kim to back away. But to what end?”
A likely explanation, Bosco wrote, “is that an agreement between North Korea and the United States to end the nuclear threat would deprive Beijing of the benefits and leverage it has enjoyed for decades as a ‘responsible international stakeholder’ and indispensable partner to Washington – the Chinese ‘good cop’ to North Korea’s ‘bad cop.’ No longer would we hear American officials advising restraint and patience toward Beijing on trade or Taiwan or the South China Sea or human rights because, after all, ‘we need China’s help on North Korea.’ ”
Full text of Trump’s letter:
May 24, 2018
Kim Jong Un
Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
Dear Mr. Chairman:
We greatly appreciate your time, patience, and effort with respect to our recent negotiations and discussions relative to a summit long sought by both parties, which was scheduled to take place on June 12 in Singapore. We were informed that the meeting was requested by North Korea, but that to us is totally irrelevant. I was very much looking forward to being there with you. Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting. Therefore, please let this letter serve to represent that the Singapore summit, for the good of both parties, but to the detriment of the world, will not take place. You talk about your nuclear capabilities, but ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used.
I felt a wonderful dialogue was building up between you and me, and ultimately it is only that dialogue that matters. Some day, I look very much forward to meeting you. In the meantime, I want to thank you for the release of the hostages who are now home with their families. That was a beautiful gesture and was very much appreciated.
If you change your mind having to do with this most important summit, please do not hesitate to call me or write. The world, and North Korea in particular, has lost a great opportunity for lasting peace and great prosperity and wealth. This missed opportunity is a truly sad moment in history.
Donald J. Trump
President of the United States of America